writing & publishing

Natural Writing

I’m an incredibly seasonal reader, which I think I’ve mentioned before. Because it’s Spring, I’ve started opening up some nature writing – Notes from Walnut Tree Farm. It’s wonderful stuff so far.

I’ve always subscribed to the belief that, for a writer (and even for a reader, but particularly a writer) it’s beneficial to read widely – that is, to not charge through your beloved (sub)genre for months on end.

Every now and then, flex different muscles; as a writer, it’s a chance to discover new muscles entirely. You might not use them all the time, but when you do there will be something interesting to draw on – and that can help make you a more interesting writer.

Or even when it comes to writing things like whisky reviews, it’s a chance for me to try out something different – exercise a whole different set of critical skills which may or may not one day become useful. Another important thing is that it forces me stop and contemplate what I’m doing. It can help me reassess my style and learn interesting things about my own prose – if that’s something you care for.

This is about as far from being scientific as you can get, but I swear all this practice – of reading and writing utterly different pieces of prose – helps you grow as an author.

It helps you become a more natural writer. I just can’t quite put my finger on why.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

2 replies on “Natural Writing”

Good points Mark.

Being a narrow writer in style and approach can be an effective way of shooting your writing in the virtual foot. I found, personally, that reading only one genre all the time and mainly by the same author (as I remember talking to you about last November in Derby) really did restrict things for me. I have since spread out and, as you know, read quite a few fantasy works.

I am at the moment reading the Sci-Fi book I got free from that day I met you 😛

I feel like I kind of know what you mean by “natural,” but I may not. By that do you just mean more versatile, more comfortable with your own writing skills?

In any case, I think that’s good advice to try out different kinds of writing and genres. You can learn new ways of putting certain words together, forming word pictures, portraying settings and characters, writing dialogue, seeing the commonplace in an uncommon way… So many ways to be inspired.

Comments are closed.